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Mexican "fruit salad" stands?

Walk down Mission St between 16th and 25th.

Apr 26, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

La Ciccia report

I feel like I have to speak up here to make sure I'm not crazy. I went to La Ciccia last week based on positive hound reports. I was disappointed. The space was cool, and the service was fine. However, the food, while relatively unique for the city, was not that great. A friend and I shared Clams and Calamari in Parsley Vermentino Sauce, and a salad to share. He ordered the margherita pizza, and I ordered the lentil-prosciutto soup and a baked cod dish. Everything, with the exception of the pizza and salad, was INCREDIBLY salty. The flavors did not stand out or pop. Everything just tasted like a salt shaker. Has anyone else had this experience?

Apr 04, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Empanadas?

Rodger's Coffee & Tea on 20th btwn Mission & Valencia serves both chicken and vegan empanadas. Guy at the counter said they were Sabores del Sur. Not sure if they plan to carry other fillings. They appear to be parbaked then they finish them in one of those crazy ovens Subway uses to toast their sandwich in 30 seconds. I ordered a chicken one, came out a good temperature, a little burnt around the edges, but otherwise fine. Filling was good, if a little salty. Mostly chicken and sauce with one black olive and a chunk of hardboiled egg. $4.50, big enough for a light lunch.

Mar 05, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinatown...

Use the search function. Don't call it "San Fran."

Also, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/469166

Feb 24, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Wild Food

You could try emailing the folks mentioned in this post:

http://missionmission.wordpress.com/2...

Feb 17, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

neon green relish

There's a chicago style hot dog cart on Folsom and 7th that uses it (lunch hours only), could ask them where they get it.

Feb 13, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Stable Cafe's Cuban Sandwich?

I tried it about 2 months ago, my memory is a little hazy, but I remember it being dry and not particularly authentic. Not even close to the one out of the truck over by the Salvation Army (and yes, I know, that one's not necessarily authentic either).

Feb 03, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for refurbished mixer

Maybe try Cookin on Divisadero?

http://www.chow.com/places/27001

Jan 27, 2009
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

SF - brunch at Frjtz and other questions

All the commenters below have good points, but I'd say try the curry ketchup, and the mayos are generally not as good as they sound. That is to say, they're mayo so they're awesome, but dont expect, for instance, the balsamic mayo to be an amazing fusion of balsamic flavor and mayo creaminess. It's not.

Oct 20, 2008
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

SF - Yes Virginia, there IS a Cuban sandwich truck

Stopped by today around 1. Was where described. Pretty much agree with PiuPer's review, pork could definitely be a little moister. Someone walked up while I was waiting and asked the proprietor how many tacos he got for 2$. When the reply was "one" the guy freaked out. The proprietor replied "Hey, this ain't Oakland." Classic.

May 09, 2008
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Pastry Chef Sister Visiting- Want to impress

Hey Hounds,

So the original plan that inspired this post fell through, but the sis recently popped in for a day and I scrambled to find this post again. I have to give a big thank you to all the posters as we had a great day. We started with some clover coffee at Ritual, then croissants and pan au chocolat (sp?) at Tartine Bakery. From there we wandered over to BiRite, ogled food then got a cup of coconut gelato. Then we headed over to the Ferry Market (it was a tues and didnt seem that large of a farmers market, is it bigger on saturdays?) We spent some time sampling and wandering around, then headed over to Le Sanctuaire which was cool but strange. First time I've ever had to sign-in at a store just to look around. From there we BARTed back to 16th and Mission and hiked over to Cookin' on Divis. My sis LOVED this place. She wrote down the address so she could come back with a car and spend lots of money. :) We grabbed a quick bite at Fritz on the way back to the 21st street garage so she could go home and I could go to class. All in all a way better day than I would've been able to come up with on my own. Thanks again, Hounds!

Mar 30, 2008
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

SPQR Report, long-ish

Yup, the soup, not the gelato. :-)

Feb 05, 2008
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

SPQR Report, long-ish

Well since there hasn't been a report since Dec. 27 I thought I would throw my hat in the ring for the new year. I went to SPQR on Jan 31st with 4 other friends, one of whom is a sommelier from NYC who was visiting. Accordingly he had almost complete control of the wine selection and was sitting on the opposite end of the table from me, so this report will focus on the food w/ no wine commentary.

The approach:

We showed up at about 7:30 on a rainy Thursday night and had to wait till about 9 PM for a table. The waitress was apologetic for the wait and the seating was quick, efficient and friendly.

Round 1: Small Dishes

We ordered 8 small plates to share, they were brought out at a near perfect pace. We never felt like we were waiting around or being rushed. I forget the order they came so I'll run down my thoughts on each in the order they were on the menu.

Sunchoke, radicchio, almond, parsley and tangerine salad:

As many of the small plates would turn out to be, this one was a great balance of flavors. The presentation was slightly sloppy, though this may have been intentional to go with the rustic flavor of SPQR. All of the ingredients were fresh and there seemed to be a light vinegar dressing. A great mix of textures as well. I'm pretty sure this dish did not come out last, but if you order a range of small plates I might try and get it last, the clean bright flavors would serve as a great palate refresher before moving to pasta or entrees. Would definitely order again.

Puntarelle salad with tuna conserva, chiles, and anchovy.

This was one of the least balanced of the small dishes. The anchovy flavor overwhelmed the dish, and if there were in fact chiles involved they were completely drowned out by the intensity of the anchovies. If you're a huge anchovy fan order this dish, otherwise pass.

Straciatella

This was one of if not *the* hit dish of the table. Perfect for a cool rainy night with great balanced flavor and a nice creaminess. Just order it.

White Beans with Pork Soffritto

The table agreed that this dish was a little too greasy, but other than that textural problem it's a great dish. The beans are perfectly cooked and serve a nice counterpoint to the very intense soffritto. Would probably order again.

Local calamari with tondini beans, capers, and fried breadcrumbs.

Like the other two fresh seafood dishes we would end up ordering, this dish was pitch perfect. The calamari was perfectly cooked, with a pleasant texture, no chewiness and a great, fresh flavor. My one adjustment would be to dial down the amount of breadcrumbs, though their presence generally adds a great texture element to the dish. Would order again every time.

Brussel Sprouts with garlic, capers, lemon and parsley

I don't want to comment on this dish from my own personal thoughts because I really cannot stand brussel sprouts. I've tried them braised, steamed, fried, and roasted and cannot get over the flavor. The rest of the table, however, definitely enjoyed them. Order if you like sprouts.

Sweetbreads with celery, garlic, lemon, and oregano

A big hit at the table, even with those who had to be cajoled and harassed into actually eating sweetbreads. The celery was a great complement to the perfectly (let me say it again: "perfectly") fried sweetbreads. My one complaint would be that the other listed flavors in the dish did not come through very strongly. Still, order even if the thought makes you squeamish.

Mozzarella bocconcini with spicy tomato sauce

Don't be fooled, these really are just mozzarella sticks (in this case balls, not sticks.) HOWEVER, they are the best mozzarella sticks you will ever eat. They are perfectly fried, without a hint of greasiness and the sauce beats the pants off your typical "marinara" dipping sauce. As a side note about SPQR service: one of our friends bit into a bocconcini and was splashed in the face by some hot oil or water trapped within the breading. Literally before I had even realized it happened, our server had notified the manager who was there in a heart beat to make sure everything was OK and who ultimately comped a few dishes for us. Would order every time, even without the great managerial attention.

Round 2: Pastas

Rotelle with octopus, lentils, and fried chiles

As noted above with the calamari antipasti, this dish was again pitch perfect. The octopus was perfectly cooked, as were the lentils. The sauce was amazing and the chiles added the perfect amount of heat. Best pasta dish we had, IMHO. A must-order.

Rigatoni Amatriciana - Guanciale, tomatoes, red onions, pecorino, and chiles

Like the octopus dish, the chiles added just the right amount of heat to this dish though, ultimately, it was not a great dish. There was nothing wrong with it particularly, but compared to the brilliance of the small plates, and the delicious octopus pasta, this was only so-so. Order if you must have amatriciana.

Rigatoni Carbonara

Here I defer to david kaplan's analysis: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/473457 which I had not read prior to going to SPQR. The dish was so hopeful in its ingredient list and description and fairly disappointing in the execution. Not deserving of the hype, not worth an order, especially as an entree.

Round 3: Entrees

Fried Lamb Neck with marinated ceci beans.

This was a dish I both enjoyed, and was thankful to share with six people. The waitress informed us that the lamb neck had first been braised for a considerable period of time, then fried in a similar way to the mozarella antipasta. It was incredibly rich. I could feel my arteries clogging with each bite, but in a delightful way. Definitely don't order this just for yourself, but order it.

Bay Scallops with roasted cauliflower, rapini, and olives

Again, a perfect dish. SPQR seems to have a deft hand with fresh seafood, and this was my favorite of both the entrees and pasta dishes. The scallops were not rubbery at all and the flavor of the dish was light and accentuated, rather than masked, the natural deliciousness of the scallops. Order at all costs.

Round 4: Dessert

As a general note, I suspect you can't go wrong with dessert at SPQR. We ordered three, along with a few french press pots of (Blue Bottle)coffee and all was amazing.

Riso Budino with pistachios, dates, and lemon

This dessert came first and was a fantastic finish to such a rich, amazing dinner. The lemon and date flavors made themselves well known in a fresh, bright way. If you are stuffed, and only want one dessert, this is a great one to pick.

Griddled ricotta cake with crema fresca and bitter orange

Certainly not nearly as light as the Riso Budino, but still amazing. The ricotta cake was like a light, slightly fried bit of cheesecake, the oiliness of which was well cut by the bitter orange. If you're ready for a little more fried food, go ahead and order, you won't be disappointed.

Almond milk granita with espresso crema

WOW. As I told a friend just today, the granita was perfect, like clouds filled with angels singing; unbelievably light, no large ice crystal formation, and a perfect amount of sweetness. Even if you have absolutely no more room for food order this.

Well, I hope this was helpful in some way for fellow hounders. My general analysis: stick with small dishes and desserts with maybe a seafood oriented pasta dish or entree. Oh, and I forgot another bonus point. With all that food plus a lot of wine (I think six bottles, though I dont recall precisely) the bill was only $300 w/ tax before tip. If any of my comrades from dinner (who I think might be chowhound lurkers) want to add to my comments feel free. I'm sure I neither remembered everything correctly nor completely.

Feb 05, 2008
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Pastry Chef Sister Visiting- Want to impress

Thanks for the recs, didn't know that "pastry chef" was a term of art. I will avoid this culinary gaffe in the future. :-)

Nov 10, 2007
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Pastry Chef Sister Visiting- Want to impress

Good question linz, I think her ultimate dream is to run her own patisserie someday, which I'm told means fancy desserts and pastries.

Nov 10, 2007
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Pastry Chef Sister Visiting- Want to impress

So my sister just graduated from the baking and pastry arts program at the CIA and is coming to visit me (I live in the Mission) next week. I know next to nothing about pastries and baking generally. I'm much more interested and well versed in cheap ethnic eats, which is definitely not up my sister's alley. The only place I can think to take her is Tartine Bakery (a rec I got from y'all, and which I love.) So I'm looking not only for good bakeries but also cool foodie-oriented shops that I can trot my sister around to. She'll be here for about a week, so the more suggestions the better. Thanks!

Nov 08, 2007
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area

Is it really that hopeless? - Korean in the Mission District

Hello all,

Recently moved to 21st and Valencia and have spent the better part of an afternoon looking over the Chow boards for Korean places w/in walking distance. The only one that came up was Young's BBQ on 17th, but no one really reviewed it, it was just mentioned as slightly scary. Do I really have to go to Oakland or up towards the 'loin for good Korean? Help!

Thanks,
Rich

Sep 01, 2007
rfmarotti in San Francisco Bay Area